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Communities Invited To Propose Projects That Can Benefit Forest, Local Economies

Deadline is Feb. 9

Beginning tomorrow, the public is encouraged to propose projects designed to improve Gifford Pinchot National Forest lands and the rural economies of local counties.

The submitted projects will be considered for 2009 and 2010 project year funding. Project funding was made available through Title II funds under the reauthorized Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Public Law 110-343). Completed project applications must be received by Feb. 9.

Project application forms will be available at the Forest's Web site, www.fs.fed.us, or from Gifford Pinchot National Forest Headquarters, 10600 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver, Wash., 98682. Instructions for completing the required Title II form also will be available online.

Applicants for Title II funds are encouraged to submit their forms electronically. E-mail Title II applications to Sue Ripp at sripp@fs.fed.us.

Proposals may also be mailed to Forest Headquarters in care of Sue Ripp, Gifford Pinchot Forest Headquarters, 10600 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver, Wash., 98682.

Title II projects fund work such as restoring watersheds, decommissioning roads, removing noxious and invasive weeds, thinning trees, enhancing recreation and maintaining roads and trails.

The funds are made available by Skamania, Lewis, Cowlitz, and Klickitat counties, which receive federal funds based on the percentage of land in federal ownership, timber receipt payments, and per capita income. Last year, more than $2 million was allocated to 26 proposals.

After submission, projects are considered and must be recommended by a Forest Resource Advisory Committee, and approved by the Gifford Pinchot Forest Supervisor before implementation.

"This is a tremendous opportunity that benefits forest health, recreation opportunities, and many other forest projects that enhance the local economies," said Forest Supervisor Janine Clayton, Gifford Pinchot National Forest. "I look forward to our continued partnership with our county and community partners," added Clayton.

Individuals, non-profit organizations, and local governments can submit Title II project applications. The funds for approved projects are available for 2009 and 2010 implementation.

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